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Film Scratches: Blowing Out the Candles – Hurricane (2017)

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Film Scratches focuses on the world of experimental and avant-garde film, especially as practiced by individual artists. It features a mixture of reviews, interviews, and essays.

A Review by David Finkelstein.

In Hurricane, Carla Forte’s powerful 5 and a half minute dance film in black and white, all of the footage is inside of a soft, circular frame. A dancer in a black suit (Forte) thrashes violently on a disordered bed. The film was originally shown projected onto the water of a pool in Vizcaya, Florida, creating a strong illusion that the figure is drowning and fighting for air, but the film also works well viewed conventionally.

Omar Roque’s wonderful score combines propulsive, unmetered drumming with piano runs and sustained tones to create the chaotic, wayward feeling of a hurricane. Forte’s dancing is remarkable: she seems to have taken the unpredictable, violent spirit of the hurricane deep inside both her body and her psyche. The film is shot in tight closeups, showing details of the hands and face, as if the viewer is inside of the chaos along with the dancer. The dancer is also seen, at times, with a birthday cake and black balloons. Has the occasion of a birthday unleashed an emotional storm inside of her? Is she experiencing a rebirth? This enigmatic symbolism, bringing the energies of fire and air into a piece primarily focused on water, creates an evocative aura around the film, without being literal. With simple means and deep, physical commitment, Forte unleashes a storm in the mind of the viewer.

David Finkelstein is a filmmaker, musician, and critic. For more information on Film Scratches, or to submit an experimental film for review, contact david (at) lakeivan.org.

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